Saturday, July 10, 2010


Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced today that his office has allocated $37.6 million in funding for projects across the Bronx as part of his FY2011 budget requests. The funding will go to help improve schools, upgrade borough infrastructure and make the Bronx a greener place.

“Once again, I am proud to show my financial support to dozens of worthy institutions across the Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The rebuilding and improvement of the Bronx is a top priority of mine, and with this funding my administration has continued its commitment to providing first-class amenities for Bronxites in every corner of our borough.”

The highest percentage of funding this year, like last year, from the office of the Bronx Borough President went to education, for a total of 33 percent ($12,227,000). Projects funded include the construction of a green house on the roof of P.S. 71, technology upgrades at the Leadership Institute High School, a library upgrade at Samuel Gompers High School and many other important projects.

“Nothing is more important than the education of our youth, and my office will continue to do everything that it can to make sure that Bronx students have the best possible facilities in which to learn,” said Borough President Diaz.

Borough President Diaz has also allocated 25 percent ($9,582,000) of his funding to housing, 12 percent ($4,690,000) to parks, and has provided funding to Bronx libraries, cultural institutions, and other important services in this year’s budget.

Projects include renovations at the Woodlawn Heights, Castle Hill, West Farms, Westchester Square and Soundview library branches; upgrades to the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, construction of a new borough facility for the New York Junior Tennis League and energy efficient upgrades at the Riverdale Neighborhood House.


Report will serve as the basis for further discussion and action by the Commission
      At the request of Chair Matthew Goldstein, the Charter Revision Commission staff has prepared a Preliminary Report that will serve as the basis for further discussion and action by the Commission. The Report addresses several topics that correspond to issue areas researched and analyzed by staff, including term limits, voter participation, public integrity, efficiencies in government, and other issues.  The Report follows three months of extensive public outreach, public hearings, and Issue Forums where the operations of City government were critically analyzed by the Commissioners and experts
Following the Report’s release, the Commission will hold another series of public hearings and engage in a public discussion of the staff report’s findings, its recommendations, as well as other topics for further consideration.  The recommendations contained in the report will be debated by the Commissioners and the public in the coming months, after which the Commission will vote on a final set of proposals for consideration by New York City voters.  
View the report at

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bronx Borough President Kicks Off the Farmer’s Market Season in The Bronx

On Thursday, July 8, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., along with City Harvest, New Settlement Apartments and Montefiore School Health Program, kicked off the Harvest Home Farmer’s Markets Season in The Bronx.
Harvest Home operates ten farmers’ markets in the borough, offering the opportunity to obtain fresh, good quality products to Bronxites who have limited access to local farm fresh fruits and vegetables.  The markets will be open until the beginning of November. For a full calendar, please visit
“Farmers’ markets are a perfect way to preserve regional farmland, reduce the fossil fuels required to ship food from far distances, and encourage environmentally friendly growing methods. They are also a convenient source of healthy, fresh, local foods for Bronx residents, who are ready to eat better,” said Diaz Jr.
               Above Bronx Borough President Diaz checks out some of the produce available.

Coming up on Bronxtalk

On July 12, BronxTalk will present an interview with State Senator Jose M. Serrano and on July 19 Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz will be the guest. On July 26, BronxTalk will focus on conditions on the Cross Bronx Expressway, the city's new pedestrian malls, alternative fuels, summer vacations, and a myriad of other travel issues with the AAA.

Viewers can call in with comments or questions at 718-960-7241.

For more than fifteen years, BronxTalk has been seen live each Monday night at 9:00pm on Bronxnet's Cablevision channel 67. It's also on Verizon Fios channel 33 and streamed live at Produced by Jane Folloro, BronxTalk is repeated each day at 9:30am, 3:30pm, and 9:00pm. Archives are available at; search for "BronxTalk."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

NARAL Pro-Choice New York Endorses Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General

Major Statewide Advocacy Organization Cites Schneiderman’s Lifelong Record of Fighting For Reproductive Freedom
In a major boost to his campaign for Attorney General, NARAL Pro-Choice New York today endorsed lifelong progressive Eric Schneiderman at a rally in midtown. In making its endorsement in the Attorney General’s race, NARAL cited Schneiderman’s long record of fighting for reproductive freedom for all New Yorkers. NARAL Pro-Choice New York joins the growing list of over 90 elected officials, labor unions and progressive organizations that are supporting Schneiderman's campaign for Attorney General.
“NARAL Pro-Choice New York is proud to endorse Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General of New York State. During his decade of service as a state senator, Eric has been a vocal and absolute advocate for women’s reproductive health and rights,” said Kelli Conlin, President of NARAL Pro-Choice New York. “As a senator, Eric has been a sponsor of every pro-choice piece of legislation in New York. As a friend and ally, he has stood with NARAL Pro-Choice New York at every rally and event. Eric has truly defined himself as a longstanding leader on an issue that is of the utmost importance to New Yorkers. We know that as Attorney General he will do everything in his power to protect and advance reproductive rights. Eric will be a strong leader, a staunch ally, and a champion for New York’s women and families.”
“I am so honored to receive the support of NARAL Pro-Choice New York. For years, NARAL has been fighting for equality, for privacy, for justice in innovative and creative ways. From taking the fight to court, to the ballot box and to the legislature, you have been leading this movement. I will absolutely continue our fight as Attorney General,” said Eric Schneiderman.
For more information on the campaign, please visit:

The New York City Charter Revision Commission meeting on Monday, July 12th

The New York City Charter Revision Commission will hold a meeting on Monday, July 12th to discuss the next phase of the Commission’s work.  The meeting is open to the public and will be streamed live via webcast  through the commissions website at
While public testimony will not be received at this meeting, comments to the Commission can be submitted through the website by clicking on “Contact the Commission” or by emailing the Commission at
Surrogate’s Courthouse, 31 Chambers Street, Room 209  Manhattan  6PM                  The Surrogate’s Courthouse is accessible by public transportation:  Take the 2 or 3 train to Park Place; the 4, 5 or 6 train to City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge; the R or W train to City Hall; the J, M or Z train to Chambers Street; or the A, C or E train to Chambers Street.  The following bus lines stop near the Surrogate’s Courthouse:  M1, M6, M15, M22, M103, and B51. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Upcoming Events in the Bronx

1. – Photo Exhibit- “The Bronx: Mi Barrio, Mi Orgullo”
Thursday, July 15
Bronx Borough President’s Office 
Bronx County Court House- 851 Grand Concourse, Suite 301  6:00 pm
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is inviting all Bronxites to attend the opening of the photo exhibit “The Bronx: Mi Barrio, Mi Orgullo,” by Joe Conzo Jr.
The New York Times proclaimed photographer Joe Conzo Jr. as “The Man Who Took Hip-Hop's Baby Pictures.” Born and raised in the Bronx, Joe Conzo Jr. was part of a generation that saw the beginning of Hip Hop, and at its early stage, Joey passionately embraced the role of photographer within the phenomenon.

2.- The 21st  Dominican Bronx Parade- Proclamation Day  
Wednesday, July 14 
The Bronx County Building- 851 Grand Concourse- Veteran's Memorial Hall     11:00 am
Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. and Parade Committee Directors Felipe Febles and Rosa Ayala will announce the celebrations that will lead up to the 21st  Annual La Gran Parada Dominicana de El Bronx (Bronx Dominican Day Parade).  
The Bronx Dominican Day Parade will take place on Sunday, July 25th, from East Tremont to 167th street. The parade is the grand finale of a series of events celebrating Dominican Heritage in The Bronx.
Borough President Diaz, Jr will present a proclamation launching Bronx Dominican Day Parade Week 2010.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New York State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz Questions Selective Prosecution of New York State Democratic Part

Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, Chairman of the New York State Senate Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus, issued the following statement in response to media reports that the State Democratic Party is attempting to oust New York State Senator Pedro Espada.
“I am troubled to learn that despite scandals and investigations surrounding several Democratic leaders in the New York State Senate, an effort is underway to oust Senator Pedro Espada, the only Hispanic under investigation, from the Democratic Party.
The selective prosecution by the State Democratic Party of Senator Pedro Espada – the only Hispanic under investigation – should not be tolerated.
Our newspapers are filled with stories highlighting ongoing investigations of other Democratic New York elected officials in the US Congress, in the State Senate, in the State Assembly, and in the New York City Council. Yet, I don’t hear about or read about any attempt by the State Democratic Party to oust any of them – no – only when it comes to Hispanic names.
In this country, people are presumed innocent until proven guilty, not guilty upon accusation, not guilty upon investigation. If they are later proven guilty, then let the chips fall where they may. But until that time, especially in New York State, there should be no selective prosecution of Hispanics.”

Dems ready to give Pedro the heave-ho

This was in the Monday July 5th online edition of the New York Post.
Last Updated: 9:10 AM, July 5, 2010
ALBANY -- State Democratic leaders, disgusted with scandal-a-minute Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada of The Bronx, will move to oust him from the party, The Post learned yesterday. 
A top state party official, in an unprecedented move, has prepared a letter to Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, the Bronx Democratic chairman, calling on him to formally begin the ouster effort. 
The letter, expected to be delivered tomorrow, was written with the approval of Charlie King, the state party's executive director and a top political aide to Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Cuomo, who has accused Espada in a civil suit of "looting" $14 million from his Soundview health-care clinic.
"This is a move by the state party to get rid of Espada for good," said a source close to Democratic leaders.
"Charlie King has been saying the Democratic Party is not for everyone, and Espada is at the top of his list for a variety of obvious reasons."
The letter, written by King deputy Edgar Santana, begins, "Quite clearly, Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. left the Democratic Party long ago in all but his official party affiliation.
"Through his repeated public statements and bad conduct, Sen. Espada has shown he is not 'in sympathy' with our party's fundamental principles," says the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Post.
"This letter constitutes a formal request that the Bronx Democratic Party immediately initiate proceeding to cancel Sen. Pedro Espada Jr.'s enrollment as a Democrat.
"For more than a decade, Sen. Espada has cavalierly flouted campaign finance rules," the letter says, referring to Espada's failure over several years to file legally required campaign-contribution disclosure forms.
The letter accuses Espada of serving in office "in open defiance of state residency requirements that undergird our representative democracy," a reference to Espada's ownership and use of a luxury home in tony Mamaroneck, Westchester County
The letter also makes specific reference to Espada's role in the Senate "coup" just over a year ago when, along with since-ousted and disgraced Sen. Hiram Monserrate, he temporarily bolted to the Republicans and threw Democratic control of the Senate into doubt.
"Sen. Espada's Democratic affiliation is based solely on a desire for personal gain," the letter concludes.
Espada was made majority leader as part of a political deal that saw him return to the Democratic fold.
Espada, who The Post disclosed yesterday may be indicted on criminal charges this summer as a result of Cuomo's probe, is expected to be put on trial at an administrative tribunal conducted by the Bronx Democratic organization.
If Dinowitz and Bronx leaders rule that Espada should be ousted, he could appeal the verdict in state court.
Bronx Democratic County Committee Chairman Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz had the following to say.
“If it’s being done by the state committee, you would think someone would actually give me a call,” Dinowitz griped, noting Bronx leaders asked the state party for assistance prior to the infamous Utopia Paradise Theater meeting at which the Rainbow Rebels clashed with loyalists to Assemblyman Jose Rivera and wrested the county committee from his control.
“We asked the state committee to come in and observe the meeting and make sure it was done fairly, because we suspected it wouldn’t be and they chose at that point not to take a role,” Dinowitz recalled. “Maybe they’re more activist now than they were.”
More as the story unfolds further.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fraud charges loom for Pedro

This was reported in the New York Post online July 4th 2010 updated at 7:28AM.
Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. -- accused of living large off the money from his Bronx health-care empire -- could face criminal charges for lying on state and federal applications to get more cash for the clinics, The Post has learned. 
Sources say Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office is looking at mail-fraud and conspiracy charges that could land the Bronx Democrat in prison for at least 10 years on each count.
The charges relate to declarations made on state and federal forms and tax returns for the Comprehensive Community Development Corp., which runs clinics under the name Soundview HealthCare Network. The embattled Espada is CEO of the nonprofit.
The criminal charges could come this summer, The Post has learned.
Espada's representative did not respond to requests from the Post for comment.
We suggest you read the New York Post article at the link above as we have taken only some of the article.
We are intrigued by the line criminal charges could come this summer. Does this mean right before the Democratic Primary in September?